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I’m of the opinion that many of us wall ourselves off when things get hard. Not the usual, busy chaos of life, but when things look grim, that’s when we close down. We choose consciously or unconsciously to take a step away from things. We need a break.

And who can blame us? Life gets hard sometimes.

But, it’s when we’re at our lowest that we need someone else to pick us up. I know I can’t pick myself up all the time. It gets exhausting. Yet, I’m constantly surprised by how easily it is for me to be there for others.

In those moments, I can be like Christ to them. He gave everything, even His life for me. Perhaps that’s why it’s our calling to live like that?

We have friends, family, and friends who have become family waiting to help, often yearning to help. But we remain distant. We shut them out as we take a break from the toil of this world.

Maybe we think that they’re too busy? Or too weary from their own struggles? Or don’t want to be a burden, seem needy, or be annoying, or be a bother.

However, love is a funny thing. It gives us strength. It doesn’t diminish us. The more we give, the more we have to give. The heart might look like a small muscle, but it’s bigger on the inside. It may have four chambers, but they aren’t left ventricle, right ventricle, right aorta, left aorta, they’re eros, agape, storge, and philos.

We move people around in the chambers, sure, but there’s always room for more. We have plenty to give. More than we can imagine. As we let our walls down and others let theirs down, we fill each other up with more love to share. We deepen and strengthen bonds of friendship and community, we grow into a family.

Is it easy? No. It’s easier to guard our hearts, to hold ourselves aloof. To remain fixed on the notion that people leave, that trust is hard to earn and easy to lose, and that if you let someone in, they’ll only hurt you. Yes, there is pain in love. There can be joy in it, too.

Those who stumble alongside us can become something more than fellow, confused inmates on this broken Earth, if we let them. They can become warriors, who will fight alongside us as battle brothers and battle sisters. We can fight side-by-side and encourage each other when times get hard.

Image result for band of brothers

From HBO.com

Some may say that you can only have one best friend or a handful of close friends. There may be times when you see a friend hanging out with others and you think, “that looks like fun, why didn’t they invite me?” or when a best friend grows close with someone else, you might grow jealous, but that doesn’t mean the friendship will crumble. We may crave affection but refrain from reaching out for hugs because we’re afraid of appearing weak, needy, or a burden–seeing a pattern?–or, perhaps we simply shut people out thinking they need space from us. Those are lies the devil and his minions use in an attempt to weaken the foundations of trust and love, hope and faith.

We can build foundations for friendship that are unshakable because¬†we have One who loves us more than we can earn or understand. God loves us where we are and loves who we are in this moment. He fights for you. He brings people into your life that you need to build you up and help you keep striving. Don’t give up hope. You are enough. You are worth more. You are loved (John 13:1).

Once you know love, please, pass it on (Philippians 2:1-4). It is a commodity found too sparingly, but we all need abundantly.